By Ray Hickson
A broken leg is generally seen as an inconvenience but for jockey Adrian Layt it reinvigorated his passion for racing.
Layt spent 10 weeks on the sidelines from late last year and he says, career wise, it’s the best thing that’s happened to him in ages – the break, pardon the pun, was just what the doctor ordered.
“I hadn’t had a break for three years before I got hurt and I was just sour and stale and going around in circles,’’ Layt said.
“I really needed a spell, I think you get a bit bitter and worry about what you’re not getting.
“This year I’m going to make sure I take time off. We have a seven-month old baby and he hasn’t met his grandparents yet so we’re heading off in June or July while its winter here.’’
At 44, Layt says “you don’t seem to bounce as well’’ through injury but he managed to make it back into the saddle a week earlier than planned to ride Deladies Boy at Canterbury back on February 9.
He partners the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained colt again in the #theraces Handicap (1800m) at Rosehill on Wednesday.
“I’ve ridden him a few times and the owners were rapt to have me back on,’’ he said.
“I wasn’t expecting to come back as early but Paul talked me into it. I was coming back the following week, I don’t get many rides in town so we were all rapt when I won on him.
“I reckon he will go well, he tries hard. He hasn’t drawn the best but I don’t think it will matter, he gets back anyway.’’
Deladies Boy was $16 when he won over 1900m earlier this month, sprinting home his last 200m in 12.12 (Punters Intel) but has made a habit of exceeding expectations - it seems he’ll again be underestimated with TAB marking him an $8.50 chance at Rosehill.
Layt has ridden the colt plenty in trackwork and said he’s never really stood out but can’t fault how he’s going at present and certainly has no concerns about a rain affected track.
“We didn’t think he’d do a lot, we didn’t have high hopes but he’s gone pretty well winning one at the provincials and one in the city,’’ he said.
Adrian Layt and Deladies Boy score at Canterbury on February 9
“He found the line quite well the other night, I know it wasn’t really wet but it was getting that way.
“I spoke to Peter this morning and they were a little concerned about the 1800m but provided they don’t go like bats out of hell he will be in the finish.’’
Layt rides work at Randwick on Tuesdays and Thursdays, alongside the man he calls the “Prez’’ (jockeys association president Kerrin McEvoy), and heads to Rosehill trackwork other days.
It was there a few weeks ago he worked with champion Winx, describing it like having a jog with Usain Bolt, and was a little starstruck.
He said it’s worth keeping an eye out for Temprado in the Events At Newcastle Racecourse Handicap (1600m) at Newcastle on Thursday following a gutsy maiden win.
“He won well actually, he was headed and fought back strongly,’’ Layt said.
“He’s stepping up to a mile and I reckon he will go all right because he felt like he was looking for further.’’